How the Dystos Defeated the Technos: A dystopian vision

History 302 — Fall semester, 2032 — Final essay [This is not prediction about tomorrow; it is extrapolation from today -Ed.] Summary This paper explores the victory of technological dystopians over technologists in regulation, legislation, courts, media, business, and culture across the United States, Europe, and other nations in the latter years of what is […]

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Worries

Professor Rosen gave me homework. He told me he wanted me to prepare a list like his, of the top problems he sees in journalism. I do not take an assignment from my academic mentor lightly and so it took me time to contemplate my greatest worries. When I did, I found links among them: Trump and […]

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Governance: Facebook designs its oversight board (should journalism?)

Facebook is devoting impressive resources — months of time and untold millions of dollars — to developing systems of governance, of its users and of itself, raising fascinating questions about who governs whom according to what rules and principles, with what accountability. I’d like to ask similar questions about journalism. I just spent a day at Facebook’s fallen skyscraper […]

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Beto to journalism: ‘What the fuck?’

This post began with Beto O’Rourke’s lesson. Then I added Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. And then Eddie Glaude Jr.’s. Reporter: Is there anything in your mind the President can do to make this better? Beto O’Rourke: What do you think? You know the shit he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists. I don’t know, members […]

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Evidence, please

[Disclosure: I raised money for my school from Facebook to aggregate signals of quality in news. I also have attended events convened by Google. I am independent of and receive no compensation personally from any technology company.] Too many momentous decisions about the future of the internet and its regulation — as well as coverage in media — are […]

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News Publishers Go To War With the Internet — and We All Lose

Around the world, news industry trade associations are corruptly cashing in their political capital — which they have because their members are newspapers, and politicians are scared of them — in desperate acts of protectionism to attack platform companies. The result is a raft of legislation that will damage the internet and in the end hurt everyone, including journalists […]

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Regulating the net is regulating us

Here are three intertwined posts in one: a report from inside a workshop on Facebook’s Oversight Board; a follow-up on the working group on net regulation I’m part of; and a brief book report on Jeff Kosseff’s new and very good biography of Section 230, The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet. Facebook’s Oversight Board Last […]

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A Crisis of Cognition

In journalism, we think our job is to “get the story.” We teach the skill of “knowing what a story is.” We call ourselves “storytellers.” We believe that through stories — or as we also like to say when feeling uppish, “narrative”— we attract and hold attention, impart facts in engaging fashion, and explain the world. My […]

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Proposals for Reasonable Technology Regulation and an Internet Court

I have seen the outlines of a regulatory and judicial regime for internet companies that begins to make sense to me. In it, platforms set and are held accountable for their standards and assurances while government is held to account for its job — enforcing the law — with the establishment of internet courts. I have not […]

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